Spring CHESS speaker series introduces six events


Jillian Wells, Staff Writer

A new CHESS Speaker Series awaits students and faculty in the spring at Gannon University. 

The series continues the theme from the fall semester of “Reinventing Right Now,” according to Emily Cummings, student service and communication specialist with the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. 

For the spring 2022 semester, six events have been planned so far with firm dates in place. 

The Need for Multilingual Signage in Erie will be the first event in the spring and will be held Tuesday, Feb. 8. 

Representation in West Side Story will be a weekend-long event taking place from Friday, Feb. 11 until Sunday, Feb. 13. 

A Multicultural Dance Event is set for Friday, March 11. 

The following Tuesday, March 15, Author Everett De Morier will host an event. 

On Wednesday, March 23, The Annual Collins Lecture featuring Dr. Eric Cline will take place. 

The last event that has been announced will be the Empathy in Creative Motion, which will be held Saturday, April 23.  

Several other events will be added to the list as the spring semester approaches. 

The speaker series is planned by a CHESS committee at the end of each previous academic year, and the topics have ranged from broad to specific. 

One year the theme was Deadly Medicine, which focused specifically on the Holocaust, while other years the themes have been focused on more of a general context, so there is always a wide variety of what the theme could be. 

Themes are then discussed by the committee, and the one that gains the most support and votes will be put forward for the following academic year. 

Once a theme is chosen and a name has been created for the series, further planning takes place partially over the summer, but mainly throughout the school year leading up to the series. 

A semester can feature around five to seven events that follow and focus on the theme. 

Cummings noted that the 2021-2022 academic year series “Reinventing Right Now” was created to communicate the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the world and in particular the effect that it has brought onto the communities. 

“’Reinventing Right Now’ was heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and how we as individuals and as a community move forward in a world changed by the disease,” Cummings said. 

This focus on the pandemic allowed for a “holistic focus,” meaning that even the minor changes that have come about during the pandemic are part of a bigger changed world that our society must push through. 

Along with the main speaker events from the fall and spring semesters, Cummings mentioned smaller interactive events interspersed among the events on campus. 

Gannon uses the CHESS Speaker series then to communicate the theme to those who attend the events. 

One to two faculty members oversee the proceedings of each of these events. 

The faculty on the committee have the freedom to choose what they wish the focal point of the presentation to be regarding the theme. 

“It really depends on what each member of the committee would like to focus on within the series as a whole,” Cummings said. 

Gannon faculty members work with outside sources and contact the speakers and organizations that will be involved in the events. 

Within these discussions the faculty will decide what the speaker, artist or performer who visits campus will be doing to approach or clarify their support of the theme.



[email protected]